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Sunday, 19 August 2007

Bowfell And Esk Pike

One if the finest Lakeland rounds is: Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel - Stool End - The Band - Bowfell (902m) - Ore Gap - Esk Pike (885m) - Esk Hause - Angle Tarn - Rossett Gill - Mickleden - Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. This I walked on Thursday 9 August. It was a lovely, warm and rain-free day with interesting cloud formations. The views from Bowfell were excellent, including Skiddaw, Helvellyn and the Coniston fells. The Scafells were so near it seemed you could almost touch them. The Nuttalls wrote this about Bowfell: If Bowfell were a few feet higher it would be a three thousander, but then like Great Gable it has no need of feet or metres to give it status, it is a magnificent mountain, one of the finest in the Lake District. Massive buttresses face east at the head of the Langdale valley, to the south Bowfell Links presents an impregnable face, while to the north a rugged line of rocks descends to Hanging Knotts overlooking Angle Tarn. Above these ramparts is the summit, a tangled mass of boulders through which tiny figures wind their way to their goal, the cairn at the very top. (The Mountains of England and Wales Vol 2.) Just a word about the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel - steeped in climbing history and superbly positioned at the foot of Raven Crag, for my money it has the best bar (Hiker's Bar), food and real ales in Langdale. Their lamb curry, or beef stew, with half-rice, half-chips is simply delicious, and the chips are home-made. (The photo shows the Esk Hause intersection of paths on the descent from Esk Pike. Above Esk Hause you can see from left to right Great End, Great Gable and Green Gable separated by the cleft of Aaron Slack, with Base Brown further along the ridge. In the centre is Sprinkling Tarn on Seathwaite Fell, a fascinating yet under-visited fell which I climbed a few months ago. Between Seathwaite Fell and the foot of Allen Crags lies the ravine of Ruddy Gill, which drops down to Grains Gill and Seathwaite.)

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